The Hard Truth on How and When to Communicate with Your Divorce Lawyer
You know that advice your best friend gave you about writing a scathing note to your ex when you are fuming about something they said or did? They probably advised you to write down everything you want to tell your ex. Get everything out. Say every mean thing you’ve ever wanted to say. Then, when you’re done – delete it. Or send it to yourself. It’s not worth sending it to your ex when you are upset. Pick your battles. Communicate when you’re calm. Anything you say can be used against you when you are going through a divorce. So, be mindful.
Well, it’s sort of the same when it comes to communicating with your lawyer. Let’s say you receive a letter from your ex or their attorney containing falsehoods about you or your marriage. And you immediately want your own lawyer to know everything that’s wrong with the letter – every reason why it’s unfair and unjust.
Don’t Overwhelm with Lengthy Emails
You want to email your lawyer everything. You want your lawyer to hear you, to know the whole story, and to know the real you. And you figure the best thing to do is write a letter or email to get it all out, trusting that your lawyer will sort through it and find what is relevant for the case. Your hope is that your lawyer will see past your rage and truly “hear” why your case is better. Stronger. Worthier.
However, this is exactly what you shouldn’t do. First of all, lawyers are expensive. Every time you send an email, they charge you for their time. So, take a minute before you compose your magnum opus. You most certainly have important things to say. You are fighting for your life, after all. So, please write them down.
Wait for the Right Moment
But pause before you send anything to your lawyer. Ponder what you’ve written. Get clear about what’s important to your case, and edit out the unnecessary information. Lawyers typically have a full caseload. They get a hundred or more emails per day. When you pepper them with correspondence, they can’t keep up. They get overwhelmed and frustrated. The substance is trumped by the noise. They might miss key ideas.
Instead, wait until you have your lawyer’s full attention to communicate with them. Schedule a call, or make an appointment. That way, your information receives more than a passing glance while they eat lunch, walk from one courtroom to the next, or answer their daughter’s texts. It will only help bolster your case if you know your lawyer has truly heard the most pertinent information. Angry rants – no matter how passionate they are – aren’t nearly as persuasive as the writer thinks they are. Instead, keep it factual and straight to the point.
Here’s What Your Divorce Lawyer Needs to Know
- Your Must-Haves and Goals What can’t you live without? What do you want your life to look like post-divorce?
- The True and Unannotated Version of Events State the facts clearly and plainly, without critical comments about your spouse or the events in question.
- The Inaccuracies in Your Spouse’s Story Share relevant information that disproves false claims made by your ex.
- All Relevant Information, Regardless of Damaging Perception Communicate everything, even if you think it may hurt your case. Your lawyer needs to be prepared.
What You Need from Your Divorce Lawyer
- An Honest Evaluation of Your Case Your lawyer should give you a realistic and honest evaluation of your case. This can help quell any fanciful expectations you may have upfront.
- Your Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios Knowing the full range of potential outcomes can help prevent you from fixating on only one result, which could lead to massive disappointment.
- Their Strategy You’re entitled to know the strategy your lawyer will use to get you to resolution in the most streamlined, cost-effective, and favorable way.
Other Items Your Divorce Lawyer Needs from You
- Supplying Additional Evidence Your lawyer needs to notify you of any additional documents, statements, or other evidence you could supply that would best serve your case.
- Check-In Calls Regularly schedule check-in calls with your lawyer, even if they are just 15 minutes at a time. Staying on top of your case can help move the process forward efficiently.
In conclusion, communicating with your divorce lawyer effectively can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Remember, brevity and clarity are essential when sharing information. Avoid sending lengthy emails and instead, wait for the right moment to discuss crucial matters with your lawyer. Provide all relevant details and evidence, even if you worry it might be damaging. Trust in your lawyer’s expertise, and together, you can navigate through the complexities of divorce proceedings and strive for a favorable resolution.
Q1: Can I send my lawyer every piece of information I have about my case? A: While it’s essential to share relevant information, bombarding your lawyer with excessive details can be counterproductive. Be selective and focus on crucial points.
Q2: How can I ensure my lawyer truly understands my case? A: Schedule dedicated communication sessions, like calls or meetings, to present your case effectively and make sure your lawyer’s full attention is on your matter.
Q3: Should I avoid talking about negative aspects of my situation? A: No, it’s vital to share both positive and negative aspects. Your lawyer needs a comprehensive understanding to build a strong case on your behalf.
Q4: How often should I have check-in calls with my lawyer? A: Regular check-ins are valuable, but the frequency depends on your case’s complexity. Discuss a suitable schedule with your lawyer.
Q5: Can I handle my divorce case without a lawyer to save money? A: While it’s possible, it’s not advisable, as divorce cases involve legal intricacies that can significantly impact your life. Consulting a lawyer is recommended for guidance and protection throughout the process.